Wartburg shoots the lights out, Simpson drops first home game

by Brock Borgeson

INDIANOLA, Iowa – Wartburg College drilled 10 3-pointers as the Knights shot 50 percent from the field and beat the Simpson College women’s basketball team 75-59 Saturday afternoon.

Bobbi Burrows, the junior from Bondurant, Iowa, went 8-18 from the floor, scoring a game-high 22 points to lead the Knights past a Simpson team that came to Waverly and beat Wartburg, 77-70 two weekends ago.

“Believe it or not, on the chalk, the word was that Burrows is their best shooter and we did a terrible job of keeping track of her,” head coach Brian Niemuth said.

Simpson’s defense simply couldn’t control Wartburg (12-7, 3-5) who responded with shot after shot, beating the Storm from the inside-out.

“They have a good inside-out punch with Kladivo on the inside and Burrows and Kristie Sommer on the outside,” Niemuth said. “We just didn’t do a good job communicating on the defense end.”

Wartburg came out of the gates hot, jumping out to a 15-5 lead at the 15:06 mark in the first.

In fact, Simpson would never hold the lead on Saturday or get close enough to tie.

The Knights’ lead fluctuated from six at the fewest to 13 at the most throughout the first half as Wartburg shot 62.5 percent to take a 49-41 lead at the break.

Simpson (14-5, 4-4) would get within six points just minutes into the second half although things would never get any closer.

The scoring slowed in the second half although Wartburg would still outscore Simpson, 26-18 as they ran away with the 75-69 win.

While Brittany Hedrick scored a team-high 19 points and MacKenzie Haupt added 14, the Storm shot a putrid 22.6 percent in the second half as their offensive attack stalled.

“There was no movement on offense,” Niemuth said. “We didn’t move and tried to do too much one-on-one, getting away from the offense. When you get in a hole you

start to panic a little and do things you don’t do in practice, and you end up a bigger hole.”

For Simpson the rebounding woes continued as they were outrebounded for the sixth time in eight conference games, this time 40-27 as nine of the 10 Wartburg players recorded at least two rebounds.

Saturday was the first time women’s basketball has lost at home this season after winning their first five.

“It hurts anytime you lose at home and in conference you have to win every home game,” Niemuth said. “Today took back what we did at their place and I’m not very happy about it.”

The Storm will have to wait to get back to their winning ways at home as they head to Decorah on Wednesday, Feb. 4 to face off with the 15-3 Norse who Simpson beat 88-81 in overtime last time, back in Indianola.

“We have to focus on our energy [against Luther] and there will be changes in our lineup,” Niemuth said. “We have to get some people’s attention that they have to play hard and have to keep getting after it.”